Monthly Archives: December 2016

Geoffrey Cone and Foriegn Trusts

WHO IS GEOFFREY CONE?

 

Before we jump in to Mr. Cone’s recent in-depth response to last week’s feature on foreign trusts, let’s first talk about who he is, and how he got where he is today.

 

Geoffrey Cone graduated with a post graduate diploma in tax and trust law (a trust being a relationship where property is held by one party for the benefit of another, for those who are unfamiliar) from the University of Otago, New Zealand. From then, Mr. Cone began his practice Auckland, New Zealand in 1980, eventually making his way to Christchurch where he became a partner (and the Chairman) of Partners in a leading law firm. There he became involved in commercial litigation , as well as tax and trust advisory work. Cone takes a humble level of pride in his work and contributions – rightfully so – having appeared in the courts on every level as leading counsel, including the Privy Council – a body that typically advises the head of state of a nation in the context of a monarchic government.

 

In the year of 1997 Cone returned to Aukland from working as a litigator for the British West Indes. After merely 2 years after his return, Cone developed his very own firm; Cone Marshall Limited. Cone Marshall Limited New Zealand’s only law firm to specialize exclusively in international trust and tax planning.

 

 

GEOFFREY CONE’S RESPONSE TO LAST WEEK’S FEATURE ON FOREIGN TRUSTS

 

In his informative and passionate in-depth response, Geoffrey Cone has tackled what he refers to as the “elephant in the room” in regards to New Zealand’s most recent foreign trust feature. Cone goes on to discuss how New Zealand is not in any way shape or form a tax haven. A “tax haven” is a country – or any independent area – where taxes are levied at a low rate. Cone states very clearly that New Zealand will not nor ever has been featured on the OECD’S list of existent tax havens residing in New Zealand.

 

Cone points out that a significant characteristic of tax havens is that they impose no or only nominal taxes, and that there is an evident lack of transparency. New Zealand has demonstrated strong leadership in regards to tax transparency, primarily in how it handles foreign trusts and the requirements that are placed on the trustees. “We don’t compete with tax havens, but instead with jurisdictions such as Singapore, Britain and the US, all of which have a transparent tax system and apply similar taxation principles in relation to their foreign trusts.”

 

 

Geoffrey Cone is strongly educated on this matter, and through his response posted in the form of an article on “nzherald” he clearly attempted to educate his audience as well on the truth and the realness behind New Zealand’s tax system and foreign trusts.

 

What Do They Teach at the Kabbalah Centers?

Theoretically, Kabbalah teachings are believed to have sprouted from the Jewish religion and only became popular with the setting up of the first Kabbalah Center in Los Angeles, California by Phillip Berg. The teachings, most of which are passed on online or through regional centers, have nevertheless taken global root with subscriptions and setting up of centers all across the world. But what do you stand to learn by enrolling to the Kabbalah teachings?

 

  1. How to unravel life’s mystery

Traditionally, the Kabbalah teachings were regarded with utmost secrecy and only taught to devout Jews past the age of 40. Kabbalah teachings are complex and involve decoding life’s true meaning as well as the human being’s relationship and interaction with other forces within the universe. The study lays particular emphasis on astrology holding onto the concept that there exist cosmic powers that control life. The Kabbalah scholars thereby teach individuals how to understand these powers and use them in an attempt to unravel life’s hidden meaning.

 

  1. How to stay in touch with God

Most people consider Kabbalism as a form of religion, but its scholars have consistently published statements to the contrary and only term the study as a complement to the learner’s specific religion. In this regard, unlike most religions that teach the establishment of a direct connection among their believers with God, Kabbalah scholars emphasize that God is beyond human comprehension and only explain the importance of establishing a connection with the essence of God that Kabbalah refers to as light.

 

  1. The teachings about the Klippot

The Kabbalah teachings argue that every individual has a clear and direct connection to a metaphysical-spiritual being whose connections promotes fulfillment in life. They then introduce the concept of the Klippot referring to an imaginative blockade that hinders this connection thereby limiting fulfillment in life. According to the Kabbalah scholars, the study and practice of the Kabbalah teachings and Jewish laws weaken the klippot and in effect promote fulfillment in life. On the other hand, negative thoughts, behaviors, and violence add onto the Klippot thereby leading to confusion in life.